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Equipment Discussions >> Mounts

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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6042121 - 08/23/13 04:04 PM

Just got my Starsense and have finished the unboxing video.
If interested, check it out here: http://youtu.be/9hkqqkjAvJQ
Tonight if I feel up to it I plan to do a series of tests and will video document them. One thing I am curious of is if the ASPA is more accurate if Starsense is used to align the mount vs using a reticle eyepiece and doing the standard 2+4 method first. I will verify polar alignment using PEMPRO. This will be on my AVX with 8" EdgeHD.


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Scotty H
super member


Reged: 11/15/10

Loc: Surrey,UK
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6042152 - 08/23/13 04:19 PM

Quote:

There are no calibration stars.

What there are is calibration positions. The SS takes an image and plate solves it to get an alignment point where it knows the axis position and sky position.

There are two main align modes.

In SS Auto the mount slews to four points, takes an image at each and uses the position to get an alignment. If it fails to get an image it can solve it moves a bit and tries again. It will keep doing this a lot until it has 4 points. This is for GEMs, there are two points on each side of the meridian. In AltAz mode I think it uses three positions.

In SS Manual the user has to do the slewing to the positions. There's no need to move to any specific position, just a bit of sky that's clear. No need to look through the scope. Simplest is to do two positions on one side of the meridian, the two on the other.

A calibration position can also be added by simply selecting align and Add Calibrate position. SS takes an image of what it can see, plate solves it and adds the position to the mount model.

So if the object you are expecting isn't in the field add a cal position of what is. This will give a good position near what you are looking at and a subsequent move to it should be more accurate.

Bear in mind that this does NOT use calibration stars. It uses the sky it is looking at and does a blind plate solve.

Chris




Exactly, the only time you would use an eyepiece is when doing the calibrate centre routine

Scott


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6042158 - 08/23/13 04:24 PM

Hi,
Congratulations on getting your Starsense. The instructions recommend that you add multiple calibration positions when doing the Polar alignment. Since it requires you to manually slew to these calibration positions where would be the best area in the sky to point to. I don't know if it matters with this but it does matter when you do the ASPA normally without the Starsense.

Neilson


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: neilson]
      #6042240 - 08/23/13 05:00 PM

Thanks Neilson. What I will attempt to determine is how much more precise it is. For instance, the other night I was able to do a 2+4 and ran ASPA. I used frame and focus mode via Backyard EOS to center the stars when doing that alignment. I then used PEMPRO's Polar Alignment helper and tested it. Both axis were off by about an arc minute over a six minute test. After tweaking it a bit I was able to get it down to about half that. The adjusters are just not sensitive enough to get it any closer. The slightest turn and I overshoot the other way.

Well anyways, I'll add as many extra points as I can and see what it does. Not really a big deal. I am just curious about it.


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oo_void
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/13/09

Loc: San Francisco, CA
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #6042484 - 08/23/13 09:07 PM

Sometimes you read stuff and just go wow. Off course you have to calibrate this device against your scope. Unless you do, there's no relationship between what it's looking at and what you see in your eyepiece. You have to align your finder, correct? What if I had the device pointed 45 degrees off to the right and tried to run an align routine? And if you wanted to get picky, how would you account for cone error?

That said, still looking forward to mine. Should get me up and running about 30 minutes earlier in the evening, depending on how sensitive it is.


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seawolfe
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/26/13

Loc: N 47.11.23 W 122.20.18
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: oo_void]
      #6042504 - 08/23/13 09:23 PM

So.... I have a question about this neat little toy. It seems to have it's own hand controller. Does this supersede the hand controller on the mount or complement it? If it complements it, does that mean you now have TWO HC's? Does the SS' HC come with a tripod holster too?

I can see myself holding two HC's much like in the house with all of my remotes....


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: seawolfe]
      #6042587 - 08/23/13 10:07 PM

The StarSense HC replace the "normal" one.

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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: rmollise]
      #6042874 - 08/24/13 02:54 AM

I've been beta testing this for a few months now.

I've been very impressed by it's ability to find stars and do a plate solve in hazy twilight skies. This side of things has been rock solid from the beginning.

The Auto align process slews to 4 positions, two on each side of the meridian, takes an image at each, plate solves it and uses the position it determines for the usual calibration process. If it can't see stars where it is looking or the solve fails it moves and tries again. The place I've been testing is on the patio, right by the side of the house, about 3 ft away, so I've no view to the North and a restricted view to the East. None the less it's managed to align although it may need half a dozen extra attempts before it finds a good view.

There is also a manual SS align where you move the mount to four clear places and SS takes images and solves them. This seems as good if you are intelligent about choosing sensible directions.

The HC does much the same things but in somewhat different ways, it does some things in a 4 line mode and some in a two line mode. There are features that aren't obvious, mostly using the logo button, so it will be worth reading the manual.

Accuracy seems to be about the same as a careful user can get with a reticle EP.

There is an area for this on the public section of the http://teamcelestron.com site. The developers will be looking there for feedback. If you have a problem, suggestion or there's something you want it to do then that's the best place to post about it.

This is designed to be upgraded, we have done a number of upgrades. The HC uses CFM, we have been getting zip files but upgrades will probably become available on the Celestron support site. The StarSense camera can be upgraded through the mini USB port on it's back. We did one and it was just a matter of copying a file to the SS device and restarting.

Chris


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6042890 - 08/24/13 03:07 AM

1) How can StarSense align a mount as precise as a human does with a reticle eyepiece at ~150x or more, considering SS has only a tiny 40mm F2 objective?

2) Again, how good can SS alignment can be at 40mm F2 (so only 80mm FL), considering Meade Starlock has 2 cameras and 2 different FL objectives, one being a 80mm F5 scope (400mm FL)?

3) How good is SS alignment for ASPA?


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Moromete]
      #6042901 - 08/24/13 03:19 AM

Quote:

2) Again, how good can SS alignment can be at 40mm F2 (so only 80mm FL), considering Meade Starlock has 2 cameras and 2 different FL objectives, one being a 80mm F5 scope (400mm FL)?




I'd expect it to very good. At 80mm focal length the resolution will be measured in arcseconds; that's plenty good enough for star alignment. If Meade used a longer FL scope for their star location, that would have no bearing on Celestron's system - but Meade does not. The 400mm focal length unit is the guidescope. Location is done via the widefield scope - which looks to be around 80mm long. It works fine for Meade (I have one) and should be just as good for Celestron.


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6042958 - 08/24/13 04:31 AM

My experience is that it's good for aligning.

If you do the sums on the data in the manual the plate scale is about 19 arc seconds per pixel. The field size is about 7 deg by 5.

It is not designed or specified for guiding.

Chris


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HowardK
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6043041 - 08/24/13 06:42 AM

Whichwayisnorth...ty for posting a series of videos...will watch these with great interest.

Where can i find the manual for starsense?


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Moromete
professor emeritus


Reged: 02/15/12

Loc: Romania
Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #6043082 - 08/24/13 07:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:

2) Again, how good can SS alignment can be at 40mm F2 (so only 80mm FL), considering Meade Starlock has 2 cameras and 2 different FL objectives, one being a 80mm F5 scope (400mm FL)?




I'd expect it to very good. At 80mm focal length the resolution will be measured in arcseconds; that's plenty good enough for star alignment. If Meade used a longer FL scope for their star location, that would have no bearing on Celestron's system - but Meade does not. The 400mm focal length unit is the guidescope. Location is done via the widefield scope - which looks to be around 80mm long. It works fine for Meade (I have one) and should be just as good for Celestron.




I stand corrected. According to the manual SS objective is only 20mm F2 =>40mm FL!

Now that's worse than a humble 80mm FL which already too short for high precision star centering.

I doubt that SS will be usefull for someone who knows how to align well its mount and for ASPA.

How can you be so sure that Meade isn't using the 400mm F5 scope for alignment too, besides guiding?


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HowardK
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6043088 - 08/24/13 07:23 AM

Ok...i found the manual

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HowardK
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*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6043094 - 08/24/13 07:31 AM

I have the Celestron GPS module plugged into my CGE PRO.

Is this still needed with SS up and running?


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: HowardK]
      #6043107 - 08/24/13 07:45 AM

AIUI if you have a GPS module plugged in then SS will detect it and use it for the location and time, just as if the mount has GPS built in. It detects the RTC in my AVX and uses that without my doing anything.

If you don't have the GPS plugged in then I think you will need to set the location in the SS HC. The CGE Pro has a RTC doesn't it, I expect that it would use that. There are options in the HC to see what is happening.

Chris


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HowardK
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Reged: 10/20/10

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: cn register 5]
      #6043140 - 08/24/13 08:15 AM

Hmmmm..ok

One question....

There is a potential cable snagging problem with the CGE PRO..as the aux input does not move with the mount.....so...

Once SS has done its thing and all is aligned can you unplug the cable for the rest of the session or is the camera always assisting in gotos from object to object thus needing the cable to be always attached?


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rmollise
Postmaster
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Reged: 07/06/07

Re: Celestron StarSense new [Re: Moromete]
      #6043178 - 08/24/13 08:55 AM

Quote:

1) How can StarSense align a mount as precise as a human does with a reticle eyepiece at ~150x or more, considering SS has only a tiny 40mm F2 objective?






How can a 50mm finder style guide scope guide better than a human with a high power reticle eyepiece? Focal length does not matter for these applications like it used to.


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neilson
professor emeritus


Reged: 08/22/10

Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: cn register 5]
      #6043201 - 08/24/13 09:11 AM

Chris,
Hi,
What is the focal length of the OTA you are using?
Have you used the Polar align feature?
Have you done any imaging after aligning with the starsense? And at what focal length, and how well centered were the objects after aligning with Starsense?

Neilson


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: Celestron StarSense [Re: HowardK]
      #6043211 - 08/24/13 09:16 AM

I've never tried unplugging the SS module. It's intended to be plugged in because you can add calibration stars at any time.

It should be possible to arrange a cable run that doesn't snag, I didn't find it a problem with my AVX.

Chris


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